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Gold Miners home opener spoiled in shutout setback vs. Crunch

KIRKLAND LAKE – Tyson Moore dished out a personal single-game-best four assists while Sebastien Ouimet tallied twice and Michael Nickolau posted his first Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League shutout as the Cochrane Crunch went on to blank the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 5-0 Sunday afternoon at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.

Neither side would convert offensively in a scoreless first frame thanks in part to the efforts provided by goaltenders Kohl Reddy of Kirkland Lake and Cochrane’s Nickolau, with the Crunch holding a 14-7 edge in shots.

Moving to the middle stanza, Cochrane opened the scoring 2:08 in as Ouimet potted his sixth marker of the campaign.

The goal helped Ouimet and teammate Moore, who assisted on the play, to both extend consecutive game point streaks to a co-NOJHL-best seven straight outings.

Coming right back, the visitors tacked on another a couple of shifts later when Steven Klinck notched his first league goal as the guests went up by a pair with still over a half a game to play.

Further play in the session was scoreless as Cochrane carried their two-goal cushion into the third period.

In that final frame though, the Crunch put the game away getting tallies from Ouimet, Benjamin Orgil and Brenden Wade to secure the road victory.

Nickolau finished with 21 saves to pick up his initial shutout in the win while Kirkland Lake’s Reddy faced 44 shots against in defeat.

The two sides will meet again Tuesday in a 6 p.m. start at Tim Horton Events Centre in Cochrane.

Game photos: Allyson Demers – AD Photography